Rails to Trails = Happiness

Rails to Trails = Happiness

We just came back from a wonderful ski trip to Boyne Mountain, Michigan.  The weather could not have been more perfect!  Several days of skiing in the sunshine, tasty tacos and cold drinks sitting at picnic tables at the base of the mountain, live music in dark pubs at night.  Perfection! Now that we are home, I’m anxiously waiting for the weather to break (lots of cold and rain right now) so that I can begin enjoying one of my favorite healthy passions – walking trails with my pup. Many areas (not just ours) have started to convert old railway trails to walking paths.  I LOVE this trend.  We have several in our neck of the woods, the most notable being the Monon Trail.  They are typically nicely paved so perfect for walking or biking, often have houses and restaurants along the way, and are a great way to get your exercise in a lovely setting. When we travel, I’ll often search out these types of walking trails as they are usually well maintained and safe.  Perfect for getting out and experiencing an unfamiliar area.  If you would enjoy the same, here are a few places to look: Rails to Trails – great resource to find trails in your area or wherever you want to travel Do a Google search using the terms “rails to trails” and your city If you are in the Indianapolis area, here are a few of my favorites: Indiana Trails Monon Trail Although I do love hiking (more on that in a future post), when I want a more social experience, a rail to...

How to find the BEST local restaurants

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Florida.  The marina is hopping and you’re sitting outside, right next to boats coming in and out, fishermen selling fresh seafood right off the dock, tourists and locals strolling along the pier.  The margarita in your hand is made with fresh ingredients, icy cold and salted – and since it’s Happy Hour they are 2 for $8!  Just then the server brings you a plate of fresh oysters, fish dip made with freshly caught local fish and fish tacos overloaded with toppings.  Sounds wonderful, right?  Way better than greasy, unhealthy fast food.  That was one of our recent meals in Clearwater, FL. One of the things I love, both when traveling and when at home, is to try out new local restaurants.  I am very lucky to live in an area that has many stellar local places.  But even when traveling, I take the time to do a little research to find the best places to eat the area has to offer. Here are my steps t0 finding a great local restaurant:  First if it’s an area new to me, I check out Yelp.  Even when we are driving on a road trip, once the stomachs start rumbling, the phone comes out and the search for a place to eat begins (tip: use the map features to see what’s along your route).  I’ve even trained my kids to do this, so we’ll all start yelling out names of places as we find them.  Unless there aren’t any available options, pick someplace with at least a 4 star rating.  Check out the reviews, take...
Ready to Look GREAT This Spring?

Ready to Look GREAT This Spring?

Well, it’s been a while!  The past few months I’ve been re-thinking how I want to spend my limited free time and how I want to run my business.  For now, I’ve decided that instead of working with individual clients, I’d like to share on a regular basis my favorite things.  All the things that make me happy.  Everything I share is a resource that I personally use and feel will help you achieve a happier and healthier life.  I’ll be adding to this list frequently, so check it out HERE – then bookmark it and check back often!   Today I want to share one of my favorite ways to help you look and feel great – no matter your weight, fitness level or age! For many busy working moms, fashion falls on the wayside – sound like you?  Maybe like me you used to LOVE putting together outfits, getting dressed up and trying out the latest trends.  My undergraduate degree was actually in Fashion Merchandising so goodness knows I love clothes!  Yet somehow, through the years, I found myself wearing jeans and t-shirts with few accessories more and more often.  It was just easier. A few years ago I discovered the fun of GYPO’s (Get Your Pretty On) wardrobe challenges.  I participated a few times and had so much fun that I now have an annual membership.  If you feel like you are in a rut, you MUST check this out.  I don’t spend a ton of money on clothing anymore, yet I always feel put together.  I get lots of compliments and know that what I’m...
Favorite Books from November 2017

Favorite Books from November 2017

Some REALLY great books this month!  I enjoyed a nice mix of Fiction and Non-Fiction.  Here were my favorites: FICTION Very fun vacation read – every time I thought I had the plot figured out, something would happen to throw me.  The main characters are a pair of writers with a seemingly perfect life.  Until the wife goes missing.  Who is responsible?  Don’t read ahead to fully enjoy this one.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. This book couldn’t be more different than the first one.  Covers many of the topics so many of us working moms think about – do I love what I’m doing?  Or am I just doing it for the money and prestige?  Is that enough or would I be happier going down a different path?  Full of quirky characters and new chances.  My rating 4 out of 5. I just finished this book last night and got a huge kick out of it.   I didn’t love Sunshine, but the questions she raises – how far do we go from our truth when we start “curating” our life oneline?  How do we balance sharing what is real versus what looks good?  are so relevant today.  I’m sure you’ve heard others say “I wish my life was as good as hers looks on Facebook.”  Well this book helps you think about those questions.  My rating 4 out of 5.  The other fiction books I enjoyed this month were We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel, Elizabeth Is Missing: A Novel and We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Orange Collection).   I read two non-fiction books this month. ...

Color for your Thanksgiving Table

It’s the time of year most of us think about cranberries.  Even if you don’t normally enjoy them, you might consume some cranberry sauce this week while enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner. However, we really should be eating cranberries much more often than once a year!  Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C AND they are great for your digestive system. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you may have been advised to drink cranberry juice.  That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins.  This helps prevent E.coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Thanks to all those antioxidants, they also help our body get rid of toxins that can cause our immune system to weaken – and a weakened immune system makes us more likely to pick up an icky bug. If you’ve never had real cranberry sauce – this is the year to start.  Here is my favorite recipe – it’s incredibly simple, delicious and can even be made a few days before you want to serve it. Other ways to add more cranberries to your life include drinking them (make sure it’s real cranberry juice and not a bit of juice with tons of additional ingredients), adding fresh ones to baked goods, or dried cranberries to your salads.  Or just snack on them raw – yum! This is also the time of year to stock up on cranberries – they can be pretty hard to find at the grocery after December.  Buy an extra bag or two and stick it in your freezer.  They’ll even keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator’s crisper...

Twist for Your Gut

Twist for your gut – what???? Hopefully you’ve been faithfully enjoying some fermented foods and/or including a probiotic since last week.  Today I’m going to share another super simple tip for helping aide digestion and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Twisted yoga poses Not a yoga fan?  Don’t stop reading.  Traditional twisted poses are fantastic for stimulating the organs in your digestive system.  They do this by creating movement in and around our organs.  So doing these types of poses can truly start things moving if your body is “stuck.” For those of you familiar with yoga, a simple spinal twist while reclined or seated is a great place to start.  If you don’t know anything about yoga, you could begin with Day 2 of the video A.M. Yoga for Your Week (which is in general a great beginning yoga video).  Whenever I feel the need to do yoga twists, I pop in this DVD and enjoy the series of poses.  It’s also a great sequence for back or shoulder pain.  The entire workout takes less than 25 minutes, so it fits well into your day in the early morning, lunch time or even evening. Another great resource if you aren’t ready to invest in a DVD is to check out this series suggested by Yoga Journal:  8 poses for better digestion. If you don’t have a regular yoga practice, I’d recommend starting out with 2 or 3 days a week and seeing how it goes from there.  Once the moves become second nature, you could easily start or end each day with 5 to 10 minutes of twists.  You’ll help your...

How’s Your Gut?

Do you often find yourself with stomach problems?  Feeling bloated or just plain miserable?  I know I used to, and as I mentioned in last week’s Facebook Live video, it’s exactly why I started down the path of nutrition training.  I wanted to stop feeling uncomfortable every other day. I can happily say that today (almost 7 years later), I rarely have stomach issues.  In fact, overall I feel much healthier and get sick less often than I used to.  I’m confident that many of the tips, tricks and lifestyle changes I’ve made over the years is the reason. Thank goodness for being willing to experiment (although once you get to the point where you’ll try anything to feel better, it’s not that hard to do). This month, I’ll dive into some of my favorite ways to help if you are experiencing gut issues.  Since the reasons can be varied and are as individual as each of us, some of these may help you more than others – but there is science and historical evidence behind each tip.  The only way to find out what helps you is to give the various suggestions a try.  And not just once – be consistent and try something new for at least 7 days.  But don’t try more than one tip at a time – otherwise you can’t pinpoint what is helping.  I do want to mention that although they might be helpful, none of these tips are considered “cures” or are specifically geared towards people who’ve been diagnosed with IBS or other medical issues – please talk to your doctor about...
My Favorite Books from October 2017

My Favorite Books from October 2017

  I didn’t read as much as normal this month – but that’s not surprising since we had a relaxing two week Fall Break.  That meant most of my free time was spent hanging out with friends and family.  Definitely more of a priority than reading!  Plus we went out of town for a soccer tournament (so much fun) and a wonderful family vacation with lots of hiking, game playing and just enjoying life! My favorites for the month: Oh my goodness this is a fun book.  Alice gets sent to California by her boss to assist an author with creating her new book.  When she arrives she finds herself spending most of her time caring for Frank, the author’s son.  Frank is quite an unusual child.  He prefers old movies, dressing the part of characters in them, and definitely marches to his own tune.  By the end of the book, you’ll fall in love with Frank and the quirky cast of characters that support him.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.   Totally different genre – this thriller kept me guessing until the end.  I was pretty sure I knew what was going on, but never 100%.  On a stormy night, Cass sees a woman sitting in her car in the woods.  She doesn’t stop, thinking it might be a trap, but then the next day when the woman is found dead, she begins a downward sprial of guilt.  Meanwhile, the anxiety she feels seems to be unraveling her entire life.  But is it just anxiety?  Don’t read ahead and you’ll enjoy this book more.  My rating 4.5...
Feel Better While Eating

Feel Better While Eating

Do you enjoy your meals at the table?  Or do you scarf them down standing by the kitchen counter or over the stove?  Do you eat with your family most nights?  Or is the norm for you to each grab whatever you can whenever you are home? I know I’m not the first one to mention how important it is to eat together as a family regularly, but in addition to the often acknowledged benefits for your kids, there are strong health benefits for YOU too. By sitting down to eat, you are automatically going to eat better.   You’ll notice what’s on your plate – the colors, quantities and appearance.  If you start to pay attention to this you can begin to make small changes – smaller quantities, a wider variety of colors, etc. Challenge yourself to not just enjoy the company around you but to begin eating mindfully.  Chew each bite completely (this will help with bloating and stomach issues), place your fork down between bites.  Think about what you are eating and enjoy all the nuances and flavors. Delicious. Used to having the TV on while you eat?  Turn it off.  If you eat with the TV on, I guarantee you will eat more.  Your body doesn’t realize it’s full when it’s distracted.  And it’s easy to mindlessly shovel more food into your mouth when you aren’t paying attention to each bite. Why should you make eating mindfully a practice?  Because you deserve it!  You deserve to enjoy your meals – after all eating is a part of everyday so why not make it enjoyable?  Right?  In...
Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

I can’t believe it’s our last week in this series around creating calm and reducing stress.  Hopefully you’ve been practicing some of the breathing exercises, using your RC and eating more mindfully.  This week I want to turn your attention to another common area of stress – transition time. Although there are many transition times during the day (home to work; afterschool; dinnertime; bedtime), I want to dive into one that all of us working moms have – the transition from work to home.  Regardless of if you are physically driving home from work or simply attempting to turn off the computer and focus on your family, this can be an especially dicey and stressful transition. Odds are good you didn’t finish everything you wanted to do at work (do we ever?), so it can be hard to move from that work mentality to start enjoying your family.  Instead of making that transition rushed and harried, try slowing it down a bit.  Use it to switch off your work mind, release any negativity that invaded your workday and move into a calm, enjoyable evening.  Even if you  have an evening of running kids around planned, you can still change your attitude and make the most of it! Let’s begin… Step 1:  Leave work behind.  Close your computer – signify to your brain that work is over. Step 2:  Leave your office area.  Either get in your car, bus, etc. to drive home or leave your work area if you work at home.  Take 3 big inhales and exhales and smile. Step 3:  Find something that lifts your mood, and...

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